The Lord has truly risen, alleluia.
Year: B(I). Psalm week: 1. Liturgical Colour: White.
The English Martyrs
On 4 May 1535, at Tyburn in London, there died three Carthusian monks, the first of many martyrs of the English Reformation. Of these martyrs, forty-two have been canonized, and a further 242 have been declared Blessed; but the true number of those who died on the scaffold, perished in prison, or were tortured or persecuted for their faith cannot now be reckoned. The persecution lasted a hundred and fifty years and left a permanent mark on English culture: to this day Catholics continue to suffer certain minor disabilities under English law.
The martyrs celebrated today came from every walk of life. There were rich and poor; married and single; men and women. They are remembered for the example they gave of constancy in their faith and courage in the face of persecution.
From 2001, there are also celebrated on this day the forty martyrs of England and Wales who were canonized on 25 October 1970 and formerly celebrated on that day. They include Saints Cuthbert Mayne, John Houghton, Edmund Campion, and Richard Gwynn, as well as Saints John Roberts and Ambrose Barlow from the Benedictine monastery of St Gregory at Douay (now at Downside Abbey in Somerset),
See the comprehensive article in Wikipedia
, which has links to the biographies of each saint.
Other saints: Blessed Marie-Léonie Paradis (1840 - 1912)
She was born in Quebec and became a nun with the Sisters of the Holy Cross in 1857. In 1880 she founded the Little Sisters of the Holy Family, devoted to serving and caring for the clergy by looking after their households.
See also a brief history
of the Little Sisters of the Holy Family.
Other saints: Saint Conleth (- 519)
He was an Irish hermit and metalworker who was persuaded by St Brigid to act as priest for her monastic community in Kildare, and he became the first Bishop of Kildare in around 490. In 519 he set out on pilgrimage to Rome but was attacked by wolves in the forests of Leinster and died on 4 May 519. See the article in Wikipedia
Other saints: The Beatified Martyrs of England and Wales
4 May (where celebrated)
During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries innumerable men and women from England and Wales suffered persecution for the ancient faith of their country. Many gave their lives for the supremacy of the Pope, the unity of the Church, and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Of these martyrs, forty-two have now been canonized. Some one hundred and sixty others have been declared Blessed, and their common celebration is kept on this day. The following have connections with Wales:
William Davies (b. in North Wales, probably Croes yn Eirias, Denbighshire, date uncertain; executed at Beaumaris Castle, 27 July 1593) was a Welsh Roman Catholic priest. There is a chapel in Anglesey built as a memorial to him.
Charles Mahoney (Mahony; alias Meehan) (b. after 1639; executed at Ruthin, Denbighshire, 12 August 1679) was an Irish Franciscan.
Richard Flower (or Lloyd), a Welsh layman, aged 22, executed at Tyburn, 1588.
Humphrey Pritchard, a Welsh serving man arrested with Thomas Belson in Oxford 1589, and executed there.
Roger Cadwallador (b. at Stretton Sugwas, near Hereford, in 1568; executed at Leominster, 27 August 1610) was an English Roman Catholic priest.
Nicholas Wheeler, seminary priest from Herefordshire, executed at Tyburn 1586, aged 36.
Other saints: St José Maria Rubio (1864-1929)
4 May (where celebrated)
José Maria Rubio (1864-1929) was born in Dalias, Spain. He joined the Society as a diocesan priest in 1906, at the age of forty-two. In 1911, he was appointed to the Professed House in Madrid, where he remained for the rest of his life. Rubio was fully engaged in preaching, spiritual direction and hearing confessions. He chose to work primarily among the poor. He built up teams of Catholic laity, founded on a strong Eucharistic spirituality, who collaborated in his numerous initiatives in the city’s slums and suburbs. He is acclaimed as the « Apostle of Madrid » and « Father of the Poor. »
Other saints: Bl Angel Prat Hostench and Companions (d.1936)
4 May (where celebrated)
During the Spanish religious persecution, culminating in the civil war of 1936-39 seventeen Carmelites from several Spanish communities gave their lives in defence and witness of their Christian faith. In July 1936, Angel Prat Hostench along with other religious were discovered while trying to escape persecution at the Tarrega railway station. Together with Prat were the priests Eliseo M. Maneus Besalduch, Anastasio M. Dorca Coraminas, Eduardo M. Serrano Buf; the students Pedro M. Ferrer Martin, Andrés M. Solé Rovina, Miguel M. Soler Sala, Juan M. Puigmitjà Rubiò and Pedro-Tomás M. Prat Colledecarrara; the lay brothers Eliseo M. Fontdecaba Quiroga, recently professed; and novices José M. Escoto Ruíz and Elías M. Garre Egea. Later in August, Carmelite nun Sister Maria del Patrocinio, after escaping her burning monastery was shot by militia. Further Carmelites were killed in October and November following inhumane interrogations and treatment. They were Brothers Ludovico M. Ayet Canós and Angel M. Presta Batlle, Father Fernando M. Llobera Puigsech and Eufrosino M. Raga Nadal, a sub-deacon. These Carmelites were among 498 martyrs of the Spanish civil war, beatified by Pope Benedict XVI in 2007.
Other saints: Bl. Emily Bicchieri OP (1238 - 1314)
4 May (where celebrated)
Dominican Nun and Virgin.
Blessed Emily was born at Vercelli, Italy, in 1238. At the age of nineteen she made profession in the monastery built by her father and several times served as prioress there. She joyfully performed the most unpleasant tasks of the monastery and was especially devoted to the Passion of our Savior. She died on May 3, 1314.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
Second Reading: St Cyril of Alexandria (370 - 444)
Cyril was born in 370 . He entered a monastery, became a priest and in 412 succeeded his uncle as Bishop of Alexandria. Alexandria was the largest city in the ancient world. Rather like Los Angeles, it was a sprawling mixture of races and creeds; and it was a byword for the violence of its sectarian politics, whether of Greeks against Jews or of orthodox Christians against heretics.
In 428, Nestorius, the new Patriarch of Constantinople (and hence one of the most important bishops in the world) made statements that could be interpreted as denying the divinity of Christ. The dual nature – human and divine – has always been hard for us to accept or understand, and if it seems easy it is only because we have not thought about it properly. Those who dislike problems have had two responses: to deny the human nature of Christ or to deny his divinity: and either leads to disaster, since both deny the Incarnation and hence the divinisation of human nature.
Cyril fought strongly against the teachings of Nestorius and took the lead at the Council of Ephesus, plunging into the turbulent politics of the time and defending the Catholic faith through to its ultimate victory.
Cyril wrote many works to explain and defend the Catholic faith. He died in 444.
Liturgical colour: white
White is the colour of heaven. Liturgically, it is used to celebrate feasts of the Lord; Christmas and Easter, the great seasons of the Lord; and the saints. Not that you will always see white in church, because if something more splendid, such as gold, is available, that can and should be used instead. We are, after all, celebrating.
In the earliest centuries all vestments were white – the white of baptismal purity and of the robes worn by the armies of the redeemed in the Apocalypse, washed white in the blood of the Lamb. As the Church grew secure enough to be able to plan her liturgy, she began to use colour so that our sense of sight could deepen our experience of the mysteries of salvation, just as incense recruits our sense of smell and music that of hearing. Over the centuries various schemes of colour for feasts and seasons were worked out, and it is only as late as the 19th century that they were harmonized into their present form.
|Mid-morning reading (Terce)||Acts 4:11-12 ©|
This Jesus is ‘the stone rejected by you the builders, but which has proved to be the keystone.’ For of all the names in the world given to men, this is the only one by which we can be saved.
|Noon reading (Sext)||(1 Peter 3:21-22) ©|
Now you are saved by baptism. This is not the washing off of physical dirt but a pledge made to God from a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has entered heaven and is at God’s right hand.
|Afternoon reading (None)||Colossians 3:1-2 ©|
Since you have been brought back to true life with Christ, you must look for the things that are in heaven, where Christ is, sitting at God’s right hand. Let your thoughts be on heavenly things, not on the things that are on the earth.